Tesla plans to unveil its electric semi in September — but the electric car maker will have to prepare for competition posed by Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes showed off a battery-powered truck during a September trade show for commercial vehicles in Hannover, Germany. The unveiling is part of a larger plan by Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, to begin limited edition production runs of an electric truck this year.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Meet Mercedes' Urban eTruck: a fully electric truck designed specifically for city driving that gets a range of 124 miles.
That may not seem like a ton of mileage, but considering it's designed for package or cargo delivery within cities, it's enough to complete a day's worth of routes.
The truck currently runs on three lithium-ion batteries that are part of a modular design, so you can add an extra battery pack to slightly bump that 124-mile limit.
And those cameras capture the outside world and display it on a screen right above the left side of the steering wheel.
The truck comes with a digital driver's instrument and a 12.3-inch infotainment display on the center of the dashboard. That central display provides information about the truck driver's route.
The truck comes with three driving modes: auto, eco, and agile. Auto is best for a standard journey, but switching into eco mode will ensure the driver stays within his or her target range. Agile functions as a power mode.
Perhaps the coolest feature of the truck is its virtual monitoring system that ensures the truck can complete its route without running out of battery. The system looks at the pallet spaces in the truck, the weight, and expected driving time to ensure the driver is staying on track.
If the virtual monitoring service sees the truck is being pushed to the limits of its range, it will change the truck's driving mode to help accommodate.
The truck also comes with a separate tablet that keeps track of the truck's battery life and how many miles it can travel before needing to re-charge.
The truck, which can carry a whopping 57,320 pounds worth of cargo, isn't expected to hit the market anytime soon. Mercedes said to expect the tech featured on this truck in 10 years.
That's because Mercedes' parent company, Daimler, is launching a limited production run of another electric truck this year. Called the eCanter, the truck will launch in Tokyo, Lisbon, and New York before the year ends.
The eCanter has a more limited range at 62 miles than the Urban eTruck. Daimler said it will launch trucks with longer ranges as battery tech improves over time.
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